Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

10 design principles by Dieter Rams


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic a series of documentaries is being offered for free from “Oh You Pretty Things” by Gary Hustwit and recently I watched the movie “Rams” about the famous German designer - Dieter Rams. I finally absorbed his 10 design principles that as both Braun and Apple customer (Jonny Ive is a fan of Mr Rams) really resonate with me:

10 design principles by Dieter Rams

In the movie he said:

Everything interacts and is dependent on other things. We must think more thoroughly about what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it.

Here are his 10 principles:

1. Good design is INNOVATIVE

Gutes Design ist innovativ

Design always comes about in connection with innovative technology. After all, how can design be good if the technology is not on the same level?

Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs.

2. Good design makes a product USEFUL

Gutes Design macht ein Produkt brauchbar

A product is bought to be used. Good design optimizes usefulness and ignores anything that doesn’t serve the purpose or works against it.

3. Good design is AESTHETIC

Gutes Design ist ästhetisch

Objects you use daily significantly shape your personal surroundings and your sense of well-being. Only something that is well-made can be beautiful.

4. Good design makes a product UNDERSTANDABLE

Gutes Design macht ein Produkt verständlich

It clarifies the structure of the product. Even more, it can make the product “talk”. It’s self-explanatory.

5. Good design is UNOBTRUSIVE

Gutes Design ist unaufdringlich

Products that serve a purpose have the characteristics of a tool. They are neither decorative nor works of art. Their design should be neutral and leave room for the user’s self-expression.

6. Good design is HONEST

Gutes Design ist ehrlich

Honest means not trying to make a product look more innovative, powerful or more valuable than it really is.

7. Good design is LONG-LASTING

Gutes Design ist langlebig

In contrast to fashionable design, it lasts many years even in today’s throwaway society.

8. Good design is thorough down TO THE LAST DETAIL

Gutes Design ist konsequent bis ins letzte Detail

Nothing should be arbitrary or left to chance. Thoroughness and precision are expressions of respect for the user.


Gutes Design ist umweltfreundlich

Design makes an important contribution to preserving the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution.


Gutes Design ist so wenig Design wie möglich

Back to simplicity. Back to purity. Less is more. Good design elevates the essential functions of a product.

Less but better.

Weniger aber besser.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 /designed/